JEHANGIR ALI | 12 MAY, 2015
SRINAGAR : The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Monday sought response from the National Conference President, Farooq Abdullah, in connection with a multi-million scam in the state's premier cricketing body, Jammu Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA).
Reprimanding the police for its lacklustre approach in investigating the scam, the division bench of the court comprising of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice DS Thakur, asked Abdullah to file his response before the court by May 19.
Abdullah, who recently returned from London after undergoing a kidney transplant, was issued the notice in his capacity as the JKCA President when the wrongdoings were taking place at the association, allegedly involving Abdullah as well as the association's office-bearers.
The scam involves alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of over Rs 40 crores. Police investigations into the scam had revealed that the association's office-bearers had opened personal accounts where the funds meant for improving the standards of the game in the state were illegally transferred.
The investigators had also found that the JKCA officials were given huge loans against the norms. "In some cases, the developmental work that the association claimed to have carried out was grossly overpriced in lieu of pay-offs to the JKCA officials," a senior police official said.
Last year, a PIL was filed at the high court by former state Ranji team player, Majid Yaqoob Dar, and club-level cricketer Nisar Ahmad Khan, alleging that the money meant for improving the standards of the game in the state was used by the association for personal benefits.
After admitting the PIL seeking a high-level police inquiry, the court had issued notices to the state government and Board of Control for Cricket in India to file their responses.
Last month, the court had observed that the J&K Police was not serious in pursuing the case and asked the Srinagar's superintendent of police (East) to personally appear in the court.
The court Monday directed the police to file a 'proper' status report on the case by May 19.
Earlier, a newspaper reported that the prima facie involvement of Abdullah has been "established" in the case who along with nine JKCA office-bearers have been named as offenders under Sections 406, 168 and 120-B of the RPC "for making the sports body a lending agency and for operating many bogus accounts,” the report said.
"Abdullah is on the list as accused number 5," the report added.